West Ham sign Canadian defender Doneil Henry
London, Jan 4 English football club West Ham United have signed Canadian defender Doneil Henry from Cypriot side Apollon Limassol for an undisclosed fee. The 21-year-old centre back Sunday joined the Hammers on a long-term contract after spending two periods training with the club in recent months, reports Xinhua.
Henry was recommended to West Ham manager Sam Allardyce by former Blackburn Rovers and New Zealand captain Ryan Nelsen, his former coach at Toronto FC.
"It feels good to be given the opportunity to come and train and see what it's like to be part of a Premier League team and I just want to get started and get into the team real soon," said Henry.
"I had a really good relationship with Ryan Nelsen and I always wanted to see what it was like to play at another level, the highest level, and I got the opportunity to come over here."
"Since then, I was just hoping to come back and, now it's happened. I'm 21 and I want to get a role with the team, keep my head down and take my opportunity when I can. I love a tackle and I just want to defend hard," he added.
Henry has 14 caps for Canada having established himself as a regular starter over the past couple of years and Allardyce expects him to challenge for a spot in the team this season.
"Ryan was my captain at Blackburn for a couple of years and he rang us and told us about Doneil," Allardyce said.
"With a little coaching from us and work in terms of how to defend in the Premier League, Ryan says he has all the attributes to be a good player."
Allardyce added: "We have invested in him for the near future, so we do hope he can make some sort of appearance this season if he settles in and does as well as Ryan thinks he will. If not, we hope he is certainly one for the future."